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Cheap Haircuts

A  few of the high-end salons around town offer haircuts and coloring treatments for a reduced price. The catch? Your stylist is a student. We sent three interns to Tricoci University and the Aveda Institute to report on the experience.

WHERE Aveda Institute Chicago, 2828 N. Clark St.; 773-883-1560

COST $14 for a cut (Tuesday through Thursday price); $25 for lowlighting on short/medium hair using 12 or fewer foils; plus $4 tip

LOGISTICS Call for an appointment Mondays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays 9 to 6, and Saturdays 9 to 5. Services are available Tuesdays through Fridays 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays 8:30 to 5. Call a week in advance for color services.

PRO My stylist, Angel, was very attentive and enthusiastic. The cut wasn't quite right, but the instructor stepped in with sage advice.

CON Almost three hours in the chair

FINAL VERDICT Ultimately, the instructor is there to make sure you go home happy.


WHERE Aveda Institute Chicago, 2828 N. Clark St.; 773-883-1560

COST $16 for a cut (Friday and Saturday price); plus $5 tip

PRO Friendly, professional atmosphere that feels expensive. And, when the instructor came over to assess what the student had done, I was able to catch some insider info. For example, I now know my hair is deceptively curly, so it's best not to "overtexturize"—or overlayer—it.

CON My stylist, Lauren, was great, but she said mine was the hardest men's cut she'd ever done. A simple trim took more than an hour.

FINAL VERDICT Worth the price, but slow


WHERE Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, 5321 N. Harlem Ave.; 773-467-1900

COST $42 for color, cut, and blow-dry; plus $8 tip

LOGISTICS Walk-in only: Tuesdays through Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3. Color treatments must start before 7 p.m., so arrive early.

PRO The Tricoci name without the hefty price tag. My stylist, Ashley, helped me choose the right color and explained each step.

CON The no-appointments policy made the wait time hard to predict. I arrived as soon as the salon opened for its evening session, yet I had to wait about an hour and a half and nearly missed the 7 p.m. color deadline.

FINAL VERDICT Great price and service


Photography: Joe C. Moreno Hair and Makeup: Rachael Perrin and Lauren Rodda

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